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This book examines the relationship between legal tradition and national identity to offer a critical and historical perspective on the study of criminal law. It develops a radically different approach to questions of responsibility and subjectivity, and is among the first studies to combine appreciation of the institutional and historical context in which criminal law is practised with a critical understanding of the law itself. Applying contemporary social theory to the particular case of nineteenth-century Scottish law, Lindsay Farmer is able to develop a critique of modern criminal law theory in general. He traces the development of the modern characteristics of criminal law and legal order, tracing the relationship between legal practice and national culture, and showing how contemporary criminal law theory fundamentally misrepresents the character of modern criminal justice.